October 5, 2009

General Conference and Green Tomatoes

Okay, first of all, I woke up to white stuff. Yes, white stuff! (you know, snow!) Not enough to do any serious mental damage but all those "warm fuzzies" that I got while watching General Conference, well, they aren't so warm anymore.

But still, I love Conference weekend. Such amazing men, such amazing talk. Its so... huh? What? Oh, he spoke? Hmmm, must have missed that one while trying to change a stinky diaper from a child that was thrashing around, obviously trying to let me know that they did not want that diaper changed.

Uh... no. No I don't recall that one either. Perhaps he spoke while I was breaking up the WWT wrestling match (weepy, whiny toddler wrestling match).

Well, what I DID hear of conference was AWESOME!

You know what I love about Saturday Conference? Since there's only two hours between each session, daddy can't get all wrapped up in yard projects or work projects or any projects really. So what does he do? He plays with the kids which means... I get to work on projects!

I spent hours washing, slicing and dicing three big bowls of bell peppers from our garden. Some of them were probably a little over ripe, some most likely not ripe enough but, oh well! They all sit stiffly in my freezer... ha! Okay sorry, that was super cheesy.

I even caught up with my laundry, cleaned the bathrooms,

and cleaned the kitchen so I could finally whip out the fall decorations..... finally.

So it was good! But now, I REALLY need your help. Your wisdom. Your advise.

Its been super cold lately, freezing at night. I was told to just pick all my tomatoes green and wrap them in newspaper or put them in my window sill and they'll ripen.

The best part is, when I had first planted the garden this year, an avid gardener that we knew happen to be at the plant nursery when I was buying my tomato starts. He picks out eight plants and said, "Here, this ought to get you started." as he placed about 16 plants into his basket. And now I'm thinking, what the heck does he do with all those tomatoes!!

Ought to get me started!!??!! What in the world am I going to do with hundreds of tomatoes? This doesn't even include the dozens upon dozens I left out in the garden because of mold or bugs! Not to mention the ones we've already eaten or given away.

Oh yeah, and there's some here,

and here.
And here,
and here.

The same guy also to me to plant my tomatoes at least three feet apart. Ha! I scoffed to myself as I planted them into the ground, three feet nothing. These wimpy little tomato plants don't need three feet! Two and a half feet with be plenty of space.

Ummm...... yeah, I think next year I'm going to plant them 3.5 feet apart. It was a jungle out there! These plants ran each other over like people on Black Friday! And as I stood out in the cold with my wheel barrow and my pruning sheers, slowly cutting down my tomato jungle, my fingers became quite numb. Luke came out to see how I was doing. Being a bit distracted, I bent down to snip a limb and ended up snipping the end of my finger.

I didn't really feel pain, my fingers were too numb. But Luke just laughed. He thought it was the funniest thing that someone would be uncoordinated enough to snip the end of their own finger with some sheers.

Ah..... love. =)

But seriously, I know we'll eat some, bottle some, give some away, and make salsa with some (by the way, know any good salsa recipes?) but does anyone know what else I can do with all these tomatoes?

And no, I don't particularly want to try fried green tomatoes.

18 super cool people speak:

Angel Day said...

Sarah, I have one of the best salsa recipes! You will have to wait till a week or two but you will love it and it is SO easy to make...and might I add, doesn't take very long.

Brittney said...

I know exactly what you can do with those tomatoes - ship them to me!!

Actually, I just got done making a second batch of pico de gallo.. I love that stuff... sadly I did not have my own garden tomatoes to make it with though.

6-8 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 white onion, minced
1/2 - 1 whole jalepeno, seeded & minced
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
1 lime, juiced
3-4 shots red pepper sauce
salt & pepper to taste
pinch of sugar

yum yum yummy.. just chop the tomatoes first and let them drain in a colander for 10 minutes so your pico is not super watery. (I actually drink all the tomato juice when it's done separating -mmmm). I just eat this stuff on tortilla chips... or quesadillas... or whatever Mexican dish you can think of.

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

Sounds yummy! Thanks!!

Brittney said...

oops I forgot 1 tsp of garlic powder too..

Heidi said...

I personally like fried green tomatoes. But try this one out (it's what my sister does with her hordes of green tomatoes):

Mock Raspberry Jam

4 c. shredded green tomatoes
4 c. white sugar
1 six-ounce package raspberry flavored gelatin mix

Combine tomatoes and sugar in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir and cook about 10 minutes. Add the gelatin, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Spoon into hot, sterilized jars and seal; or, pour into freezer containers and freeze.

I've heard of people trying this also with strawberry gelatin instead of raspberry, for mock strawberry jam.

Number of Servings: ~2 pints

Tips: Refrigeration often helps set the gelatin. You don't have to peel the tomatoes, but it might be easier if you chop by hand. Pulse and puree in the blender are great helps.

Mama Smith said...

I sent the entire article to your email...but, here is the recipe I found just this morning...(smile)

Carrie's Catsup
This is what I used because it's what I had on hand! I'm sure you can add more or less or tweak it as you see fit. For instance, many recipes use bay leaf, celery seed, ginger, etc. To exactly replicate what I did here, you must age the chili powder and not know what type of pepper you are using!

2 14.5 ounce cans of whole, peeled tomatoes in juice, no added salt
1 small fresh pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup vinegar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
Cook all ingredients in deep heavy saucepan for 20 to 30 minutes, mashing and stirring the tomatoes as you cook, until all the liquid has boiled off and the tomatoes are a mushy mass. Refrigerate until serving.
For smooth, factory-style ketchup, put the seeded pepper and the onion in a blender with the vinegar before you cook them. I happen to enjoy the chunky texture of the onion. If I had had some spicier pepper or chili or tabasco sauce, I might have added it.

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

Okay Heidi, I'll be honest, that sounds disgusting. But at the same time, I'm curious. Have you tried it before? Does it really taste good?

Thanks mom! I didn't even think about ketchup!

Sara Lyn said...

That's a LOT of tomatoes. Did he expect you to sell them? All those recipes look great, however. Homemade canned salsa is one of my favorites. Time to invest in some chips! :)

Courtney said...

fried green tomatoes actually aren't bad, i just would never ever crave them. You could make spaghetti sauce. I think i have a good salsa recipe, if you want it let me know.

Heidi said...

I haven't produced enough of any kind of tomatoes to try it. But my sister and her husband and 4 kids love it. She said you can't tell at all. And my brother's wife made about 22 pints last year with their tomatoes and they all have loved it. Just don't tell the kids it's tomatoes!

I also have access to one of the best canned salsa's I've ever tasted. But it's pretty spicy. And my aunt has a recipe for relish, too, that can be canned. Yay food storage!

Michelle said...

Hey, you're not the only one to snip the end of your finger! I do that every year cleaning out the flower beds. Lane offered the weed eater this year...it's quite a jungle...

Good luck with the tomatoes! I've never really dealt with more than 2-4 a week from the grocery store.

Seth said...

Baked green tomatoes?
Boiled green tomatoes?
Green tomato shabob?
Tiny carved tomatoes for Halloween?

Katherine said...

I dried a batch in the oven and made homemade spaghetti sauce, but I only had two grocery bags of tomatoes to deal with. Honestly, I am so jealous of your harvest. I managed to kill all my zucchini, which I thought was impossible.

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

Courtney and Heidi, send on over the recipes!!! I want to try them all and see what my family likes!

Hahahaha.... Ah, Seth. One of the... okay, so probably the ONLY guy who comments on my blog. What would I do without them.

Kathrine, Oh DO send me the recipes! And (haha) sorry about your zucchini. That IS quite a feat!

Heidi said...

I think Tennis is the best option so far! :-) I'll send those recipes soon.

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

Hey Heidi, Do I blend the shredded tomatoes for the mock jam before or after I cook them? My kids like smooth jam.

Seth said...

I've seen your dad comment. ;)

Heidi said...

I'm pretty sure it's before because the gelatin part comes immediately after the boiling. If they like smooth, pulse them to a smooth sludge. :-) And if they aren't fans of seeds, you could take the painstaking time to remove them. It's actually the seeds that give it the feel of raspberries.

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